In a warming world, access to sustainable cooling is not a luxury. It is an issue of equity increasingly tied to climate resilience and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 – affordable and clean energy for all. It is therefore laudable that last week Kenya launched its National Cooling Action Plan (NCAP) that defines the country’s ambition towards sustainable cooling.
This plan is in line with the country’s climate commitments of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 percent or 143 Mt CO2 by 2030. Direct emissions from cooling equipment have a significant contribution to Kenya’s emissions, estimated to be 4.1 Mt CO2 as of 2023.
This multi-sectoral five-year plan seeks to support four development aspirations: reliable cold chains to enhance food security and nutrition; refrigeration to preserve vaccines and medical supplies; affordable, modern, and efficient cooling appliances for households; and reduced energy consumption through energy-efficient cooling at an industrial level. Furthermore, the plan will elevate access to sustainable cooling as a priority in the Kenya Government Climate Action Agenda while ensuring there is actionable implementation at the sub-national level.
“Rising temperatures are threatening our food and health systems, and we often fall back on energy-intensive cooling appliances which undermine our progress against climate goals, said Elizabeth Chege, Energy Efficiency and Cooling Specialist at SEforALL. “With a growing population, the demand for cooling is rising and the proposed actions in this National Cooling Action Plan are designed to meet Kenya’s cooling demand and enhance access to cooling services, through a market transition to high energy efficiency appliances and transforming the cooling sector to natural refrigerants.”
The NCAP will bring a cross-sectoral market transition to energy-efficient air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, a greater push for smart urban and building design approaches, and enhanced access to agricultural cold chain solutions for poor, vulnerable populations, with cross-cutting mainstreaming of gender and youth considerations.
The plan’s development was led by the Government of Kenya’s Ministry of Environment Climate Change and Forestry and supported by development partners, including GIZ’s Green Cooling Initiative, the Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program (CLASP), and SEforALL.
More information HERE